Peri - depression & fatigue - how to find out if I'm oestrogen or progesterone dominant?

Posted , 15 users are following.

Hi all,

I'm suffering from depression and crashing fatigue. The doc has me on

Prozac ( Ive suffered from depression for over 20 years), but it's not helping.

I've been reading up on possible solutions and one I'm interested in would be the

natural progesterone cream. The only thing is, how do I know if I need progesterone

or oestrogen? Is there a test I can do?

I've got the doctor again tomorrow but am not holding out much hope.

She'll probably want to increase the Prozac dosage.

So any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Carol x

0 likes, 34 replies

Report / Delete

34 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi honey  you need to ask for blood test call hormone profile and that will show are you in manepouse or not . I'm on Prozac 20 mg and started Hrt as was going mad x it is so hard x I'm only 48 and going tru this is awful x hope u feel better soon honey x love Z

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    hi.  ask the doctor to do your hormone panel (it should really be done at the start of your cycle, but your doctor can let you know this) and ask for vitamin D test also.  Vitamin D3 helps with low mood at this time.   It seems we are all low in progesterone during peri, and I have been going round and round with this one and advice on using progesterone cream as I feel my oestrogen has not dropped off and it is the low progesterone that is causing my symptoms, always towards end of cycle.  I have taken a course of vitamin d3 and I know it lifted my mood.  I haven't suffered with depression before, so you may still need your meds.  But you really need some help with the peri which makes everything ten times worse!

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Carol,

    Was this your ob/Gyn that keeps increasing your prozac? Ppl on here say blood doesn't reveal perimenopause but the VA, and my gyn both confirmed it via bloodwork.I've been seeing a psychiatrist because I was too thought i was going nuts, and she kept switching my meds and,increasing doses of antidepressants. Once I did my own research, I realized its not serotonin I'm lacking, its progesterone. I was recently put on hrt. Show that doc these posts. Not everyone goes through the same symtoms. We were the lucky ones! Hugs???

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Colleen, thanks for your response.  It was my GP who increased my anti-d's.  I did ask if I could be referred to the menopause clinic which is run in a hospital about 45 mins away but beacuse I'm not suffering from hot flushes, he didn't seem to think it was worth it.  But like I said, i've been reading up on it (because we have to!), and it says if you've suffered from depression in the past, then you are more likely to get depressed while going through the perimenopause - oh joy.  I don't really want to go on to HRT unless it's essential, but would try the natural progesterone IF I knew that's what I was deficient in.  American sites refere to saliva tests but unless they were done over a month, then you'd surely only get a snapshot of what your hormones were like on one day?  I don't understand why it is such a struggle to find out information.  I really can't take time off work so you would think that they would try to help more.  My colllague looked at me strangely when I asked her how to do something - turns out I'd asked her just a few days ago and she'd went over the process with me!  I guess that's what they describe as foggy brain.....

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hooray someone who is trying too find out exactly what I have tried to find out, am I estrogen or progesterone dominant / deficient.

    I am also taking prozac as I got a panic disorder, I like you had anxiety problems before but they got worse after I started peri (hence panic disorder).

    I brought progesterone cream (bio identical) but haven't used it yet as I can't confirm what I'm dominant in. Getting a test by doctors is no easily achieved due to lack of NHS funding and because it is an unreliable test. I am due back to gynae clinic is 2 weeks after having a uterine biopsy which was all clear so going to hopeful get some advice.

    In the meantime I take flaxseed seed oil and b vitamins to help

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Woo, thanks for replying.  It's very frustrating as if we knew what we were dominant in, then we would know what to take!  I'd prefer to go the  natural route - so I guess that would be the natural progesterone cream or whatever the oestrogen equivalent is.  I'm scared I'll make thigns worse if I just go ahead and try the pro cream - is that why you're hesitating too?  I have the doc tomorrow, so if I get any useful advice, I'll let you know. 

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Carol,

    I'd suffered depression and crashing fatigue and general fatigue for around 10 years.

    I started HRT because I was so hot 3 years post. Within the first couple of weeks it had begun to improve this was due to estrogen as I did not take the progesterone until a month later.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    You should probably have your hormones tested. You would know that way for sure. When we enter peri-menopause, both our estrogen and progesterone levels fall, but progesterone falls the farthest (down to zero in the end) making us estrogen dominant. That's what you don't want (breast cancer, etc.). If you end up taking any estrogen, always be sure to use progesterone with it. I don't use any estrogen, but I do use a little progesterone daily (20 mgs.). It helps with my heart palpitations and sleep at night. Regarding your depression, I was a sufferer myself for years. I never did take any meds, but I really watch my diet. Sugar is the worst for depression. I avoid it. I also take fish oil for the omega-3's which is great for depression and anxiety which I don't have. So before taking more Prozac, be sure to look at your diet. That plays a huge role. I hope this helps.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Cynthia, thanks for your post.  My diet has been rubbish recently, it's a vicious circle as I just want to comfort eat because I'm depressed but in turn, that won't help the depression.  

      I read on another post that if I do start using progesterone cream I could end up progesterone dominant whcih would bring other problems.  It is all so confusing :-(

        

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi, Just wanted to say excellent advise especially re. diet, it can make all the difference. 

      ?Also just wish to add that some of the doctors I have spoken with re. menopause symptoms tell me that hormones really nothing to do with low mood, which beggars belief.  I read of one women who had also suffered depression for much of her adult life and was found to be low in oestrogen. ( I don't know what her diet was like?)

      ?I think what baffles me is that there are many people who seem to suffer from puberty upwards and hormones are never called into question.  Which I find odd.  re. the diet again, one student in her early twenties was wrongly treated for schizophrenia/symptoms until a nutrionist discovered she had low B3/B2 her diet was poor. Her symptoms vanished when her diet was changed etc.  (confess I read about this case, which really did not surprise me, if honest)

      ?I just think that the dots are conventiently not joined up...diet/hormones and also this attitude of "your going through the menopause" , it does not affect mood or you're depressed, here take prozac..  enough said.

      ?Just wanted to have my 2p's worth here. 

      ?Also to say that saliva testing over course of a month is deemed to be more accurate than a 1 off blood test.  worth investigating?

      Something has to change!

      ?Keep well (from mad meno with bee in her bonnet!)

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      well said!  hormones most definitely affect mood and everything else.  Bad diet leads to out of whack hormones and I agree that many teenagers now, suffer from depression due to bad diet, leading to hormone imbalances. Doctors think we are just mad meno women and they should really listen to us, we know what is going on, especially when we reach this stage, we are living it, and have a lot of knowledge to give if they would just listen and not just throw anti-depressants and the like at us.  It is real, not a figment of our imagination.  it would help lots of people of different ages.  
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi, thanks for your reply. Well I went to the doctor this morning, asked about hormone testing

      and came away with (and I'm NOT joking unfortunately) , a printout from this website?! Can

      you believe it??

      She suggested increasing the Prozac even though I told her the last increase didn't help at all (

      (plus I don't like taking them anyway). Useless. She just told me to read up on HRT and decide if I

      want to try it - that's soooo helpful - not.

      Have you any idea where I could get the month saliva testing done? I'm in the Highlands too

      so if you know of somewhere, that would be great.

      Thanks,

      Carol

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Colleen, after the doctor being completely useless today and with all the advice

      from you lovely ladies on here, I decided instead of coming home and eating crap ( I'm a sugar

      addict), I'd make a proper meal.

      That sounds do easy, doesn't it, but I know exactly how you feel. However I've decided

      until I have more energy I'm just going to have stir fries!

      I bought tuna, pre-prepared stir fry veggies and noodles took 4 mins in boiling water.

      I'm going to try chicken, turkey, Quorn, etc. I know it's not ideal but it's better than

      munching my way through a packet of chocolate Hob Nobs!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi, bad diet seems to be in a lot of replies I received so I'm going to

      try really hard to eat better. I've also ordered some supplements and two books from Amazon,

      about the peri-menopause.

      Sugar is my downfall but I'll use this forum as an incentive to keep going!

      Will let you know if I come across anything that helps ??

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I know what you mean, but just changing the odd grabbing a snack thing...now I eat some natural yogurt, nuts - cashews great for boosting oestrogen levels, oatcakes and a bit of cheese...plus litte or no alcholol..just a these little changes can help...

      ?(no more reaching for the biscuit tin).   It's sugar I try and reduce.  Days I get so low, it's easy not to care.   SO yep I'm there too with the apathy thing,  it takes a alot these days to try and keep on track.

      ?Time is key these days!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Ah sorry to hear about doc's response, I read somewhere I am sure that with hormonal depression then prozac is not the answer, which may well be why you are feeling low.

      ?There is a well known nutrionist who advertises monthly testing but it's expensive say around £200 or so.  I know we are not allowed to divulge information here...but do have a search.  There are some reputable labs that offer single testing...again not cheap. 

      ?Sorry not to be more helpful here, but I recommend you find a good nutrionist who can arrange for testing for you.

      (Possibly Edinburgh area?)

      ? I am down in South West England, so I don't know of any up in Scotland).

      I wish you well, you're on the right tracks.!

       

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Carol,

      Just a thought, I know from research that hormone testing is not very accurate. I have also discovered from much research that some of the private meno expert's prefer to try you out on HRT and see how you feel. This would be a better indications of whether HRT is suitable for you.

      I'm using oestrogel and Utrogestan they are bio identical and made from plants. I knew I felt better within a few weeks.

      After reading that some experts do not check hormones I decided why not just try it for 6 months and see and I'm so glad I did.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Zigangie, thanks for your reply.  That's interesting that you say some experts tell you to try HRT to see if it works.  How would I know what ratio of pro to oest I should try though?  Or is it just a case of starting with the minimum of each?  How did you decide on the ones you use?  I'm away to Google the names of them now!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Should the progesterone cream that you can buy online not be used without a doctors consultation first? They seem to suggest that anyone can buy it and use it if experiencing peri meno symptoms?
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I would start with even smaller dose than suggested. I started the progesterone cream from the store at 20 mg as suggested and woke up both nights with a bad headache. Then I cut it down to using same amount but dividing it up to 3 nights and no headache. Unfortunately had to postpone using it for other health issues became more pressing to address. But I'm planning to restart it next cycle.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Cazan,

      Yes I think just try the minimum dose to begin with.

      You can increase the estrogen and the utrogestan I take is the same no matter what dose of estrogen is.

      It's 200mg a day some say for 14 days but I think the manufacturer recommends 12 days.

      Oestrogel and Utrogestan are recommended by one of the UKs top male professors. If I say his name I get moderated I'm afraid.

      So I went with his recommendation. It did take me a long time lots of research to arrive at that point.

      I would love to be able to afford to see an expert. They all seem to be private and rather expensive though.

      They generally also prescribe testosterone for libido.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi maisie,

      I did think about trying it myself at one point before I went on HRT.

      I think it can build up in your system and make things worse in the end.

      Most women find to begin with it does help though.

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up